Industrial Refrigeration Operator Certification

Cooling off refrigeration loads

Industrial refrigeration comprises nearly nine percent of the Northwest’s regional industrial load. Energy management and efficiency are playing an increasingly important role in industrial refrigeration, offering these facilities energy savings, financial savings and a stronger bottom line.

NEEA has collaborated with the Refrigerating Engineers & Technicians Association (RETA) to develop an energy efficiency certification for industrial refrigeration professionals, including engineers, managers, operators, technicians, contractors and service providers.  Refrigeration professionals who become Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialists (CRES) have the skills and capabilities to optimize the energy efficiency of their plants.  CRES professionals have a competitive edge, and can contribute to the bottom line in their plants while maintaining production, product quality and safety.

CRES is an ANSI-accredited certification, requiring passing a comprehensive examination and completing and documenting five energy management activities. Typical cost reductions range from about 3 to 10 percent refrigeration electricity use after a year or more of consistent effort by a CRES-certified operator. Continued improvement is expected since, in addition to continuing education, refrigeration professionals must complete additional energy management activities every three years to maintain their certification.

Case Study: Henningsen Cold Storage Invests in CRES

Henningsen is committed to building and operating the most energy-efficient refrigerated warehouses, and has 6 CRES Certified engineers among all their facilities. By achieving the CRES certification, these engineers have demonstrated that they know how to safely and efficiently operate industrial refrigeration systems, while uncovering projects that reduce energy waste at their already efficient facilities. Read the Case Study

The collaborative efforts between utilities, NEEA and RETA to bring the CRES certification to the market allows facilities like these  to save energy and lower costs across the Northwest.

  • Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Standard Evaluation: Final Report
    The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) contracted with TRC Energy Services (TRC) to conduct an evaluation of NEEA’s efforts to help establish the federal commercial refrigeration equipment (CRE) standard. The study qualitatively assessed activities that NEEA conducted to help establish the CRE standard and quantitatively assessed the combined influence of all energy efficiency stakeholders on the energy savings from the adoption of this standard. Through the evaluation, TRC determined that NEEA, in partnership with other energy efficiency stakeholders, worked to affect the stringency of the adopted standard; particularly through directional comments made to influence the standard’s final test procedure. TRC concludes that of the total savings projected to result from the EPS standard, 15 percent will result from efforts put forth by NEEA and the other energy efficiency participants.
    PDF, 476.61 KB
  • CRES Initiative Market Test Assessment Final Report
    The Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance commissioned a study to assess the appeal and potential viability of the Certified Refrigeration Energy Specialist initiative, designed to certify refrigeration professionals to optimize the energy efficiency of the refrigeration systems in their respective plants, to capture both energy and cost savings. This report presents an assessment of the initiative’s potential appeal to key market actors/segments including refrigeration facility managers, operators, technicians, engineers, and service providers. The study found the initiative has the potential to succeed with its goal based on good early awareness of the initiative, interest among operators and technicians in professional development and openness of management to support efforts to improve operational and energy efficiency within their facilities.
    PDF, 778.29 KB
  • RETA CRES Initiative- Market Characterization, Baseline Study, and Forecast Report
    Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (NEEA) introduced a market transformation initiative working with the Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) to create a certification called Certified Refrigerating Energy Specialists (CRES). The RETA/CRES initiative is designed to increase demand for and supply of Refrigeration Systems Operators (RSOs) certified to operate and maintain industrial refrigeration systems in an energy efficient manner. NEEA commissioned this study to characterize the market and to estimate the market baseline for energy savings that would result from the presence of certified RSOs. Researchers found that the average facility operating an industrial refrigeration system consumes 11,400 MWh (1.3 aMW) per year and estimated that roughly 10% can be reclaimed by improvements in operations and installation of more efficient equipment.
    PDF, 1020.01 KB

Resource Spotlight

RETA Energy Efficiency Talk Cards

talk cover

This resource is intended to provide refrigeration professionals with ideas for implementing energy-efficient upgrades. Though each facility is unique in its operation, these activities have been successfully implemented across a variety of different plants and are a good place to start when thinking about low-cost and no-cost energy-efficiency activities.

Learn more

Video Spotlight

RETA CRES: Study For CRES and See Success

NEEA, our utility partners and the industrial refrigeration industry collaborate to educate operators how to save energy and lower costs in their facilities across the Northwest.

Watch how

NEEA Team Lead

Warren Fish

Program Manager